Detroit Lions part with special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs


Not much has gone well for the Detroit Lions this season, but one area where the team has consistently excelled is specialty teams.

That wasn’t enough to save first-year coordinator Brayden Coombs, who was fired Monday after calling an unauthorized fake boat during the team’s 46:25 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Interim coach Darrell Bevell said the move to relieve 34-year-old Coombs was “an organizational decision”. Bevell noted that he had been given authority to lead the coaching team and the decision began with him, but it wasn’t a call he made himself.

Bevell said he spoke with team president Rod Wood about the Coombs split before waiting for a response from Wood and the team’s leadership group.

Special teams coordinator, Brayden Coombs, was fired by the Lions on Monday.

“When I started here three weeks ago, I talked about it being a five-game audition for me. It was an opportunity for each of us to do our best, to show who we are, to play together as a team, ”Bevell said on Monday. “Everyone had the opportunity to be rated. Whether you are rated here, whether you are rated for another location. It was part of the evaluation.

“Yesterday’s (wrong) decision that was made in the game was not the right decision. I thought about it long and hard last night, and in the end I spoke to Rod and told Rod what my thoughts were. Then Rod and the rest of the leadership group made a decision and then helped me make that decision. ”

Organizational frustration had been brewing with Coombs for some time, according to a team source, believing the coordinator was too focused on self-promotion. But it was the villainous decision in the game against the Titans that was supposed to be the last straw.

The source stated that Coombs called a fake punt in the fourth quarter without consulting any other coaching staff and not even all 11 players on the field knew about the game call.

With the Lions 32:18 behind and 4: 4 behind their own 31-yard line 12: 9 minutes ahead, Safety CJ Moore received a direct hit and was unable to secure a first retirement. The Titans took over at the Lions ’34, scored a touchdown six games later, and the router was on.

When asked about the wrong punt after the game, Bevell did not state that he was dialed without his consent.

“As for the decision to take the boat, we like some of the fakes we have,” Bevell said. “We feel like (Moore) is a guy who has good speed, has the ability to block the edge and get him on the edge, so we went for it. We could definitely have left the offense out there, but with the clock and time it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. “

When asked on Monday whether it was correct that Coombs called the counterfeit himself, Bevell replied: “Yes.”

Bevell said, given the situation and the variables in the game – time outs, playing time, score, and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who took a couple of shots on the trip – he told Coombs that he wanted to throw the ball away.

“We lost two points. Matthew had just been hit in second place. He had just been hit in third place, ”explained Bevell. “If we just assess the entire situation and the communication we have, it can change every single drive. We communicate whether we are in the minus area, we are in the positive area and always try to keep track of things. Yes, a decision has to be made there. The decision for me was that I have to judge everything. I guess the quarterback is not good, and so is the score and where we were – we had three more timeouts plus the two minute warning and Jack (Fox) scores really well.

“I thought it would be best to turn the field around and keep us in the game, two points less. We’re getting the ball back, you saw the offense go there, with a really good chance. If I try there I will skip the offense. I’ll entrust the ball to Matthew. That didn’t happen in the situation, and there are some things that could be different from how I would be in a different place that could make really good decisions. Not knowing what was going on resulted in bad things happening. “

Coombs did not respond to a request for comment from The Detroit News. He is the first coaching baton to be laid off since the Lions split from head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn last month.

According to Bevell, the players were absent on Monday and he spoke to some of them about Coombs’ shot. However, several Lions went to Twitter to support Coombs.

“Grateful for the opportunities Brayden Coombs has given me this season,” tweeted full-back Jason Cabinda. “The guy won’t be around for long. If you get him, you’ll get a damn good coach.”

Defender Tony McRae named Coombs one of the best coaches he has played for in the NFL.

“Great energy and a man who will challenge you week after week,” McRae tweeted. “I’m speechless. I’ll play for Brayden every day!”

Amid cultural concerns, it’s hard to question the production Coombs received from his players after joining the Lions this off-season. The biggest success was Detroit’s punting and coverage units.

Jack Fox, in his first season as a punter on the team, has a net average of 45.3 meters on his 49 boots. If he can go on like this, he’ll set the franchise mark while barely getting out of step for the league record. Returnees Jamal Agnew is in the top 10 in both kickoff and punt return averages. The Lions have also blocked four kicks, three punts and one extra point this season.

Despite that success, Bevell said it was important to bring his philosophy to the team, adding that he could have lost credibility if he hadn’t acted. He also declined to say if there have been any other incidents in the past few weeks that led to the release on Monday. One step he repeated was in the best interests of the team.

“It was an excruciating decision to be honest,” Bevell said. “It was something that I found very difficult. I thought it was really important to think about it a lot. I really thought about it, basically all night. In the end, I grabbed Rod and talked to Rod about it. There are some things you can do and I feel like you can come back and then I think there are some choices that – you don’t make those choices.

“There must be an impact because many people make similar decisions or in different ways. Again, I’m just trying to do the best for this team and put this team in the best situation to be able to win. “

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Twitter: @Justin_Rogers


Dusty Kennedy